Panel to assess occupation

  • 2005-08-03
  • From wire reports
RIGA - The government has formed a commission to estimate damages caused by the communist occupation and summarize the number of Latvians sent out of the country as part of mass deportations pursued by the Soviet authorities.

The commission, which will be headed by Edmunds Stankevics, a state chancellery official, and have representatives from various institutions, will report its findings in three months.

Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis said in a Cabinet meeting Aug. 2 that the first task of the commission would be to work out a methodology and assess the experience of other countries in estimating wartime or occupational damages.

Parliament on May 12 adopted a declaration condemning the half-century of totalitarian communism in Latvia and envisaging repatriating former Soviet military staff to Russia. The declaration gave the government three months time to set up the commission for estimating damages and come up with an approximate number of people deported during the war and subsequent occupation.

The government also will work with Russia to reach an agreement on repatriating Latvians exiled to Siberia, as well as returning archival materials taken out of the country.